With technological innovations rising as quickly as the population, the Industrial Revolution not only symbolizes an age of expansion and advancement, but it also reflects the remarkable changes on the economic and social structure of England. The working class of the Industrial Revolution lived hard, laborious lives. The majority of their time was spent in the factories, which were very often unsanitary, overcrowded, and hazardous, and when they were able to leave the factory and spend time at home, they were met with equally revolting conditions.
Although these people and their work were without a doubt one of the largest factors towards the successfulness of the Industrial Revolution, they themselves suffered greatly, and reaped nearly no benefits for their work. The overall quality of their lives was incredibly poor. Every arena of their lives, from working conditions and home life, to nutrition and cleanliness, was affected by overwhelming poverty. Recently when interviewing one of the workers this is what was said. Me: How horrible are the working conditions in the factories?
Worker: The working conditions in the factories condition and grievances, to witness our struggles against the social and political power of our oppressors. I was induced to spend many happy hours in obtaining knowledge of the realities of life, many an hour. Foreigners that do not have pure English are blasting curse, national prejudice and national pride which after all means nothing but wholesale selfishness. “The children and women would work the spinners of the wool and texture factories.
Hence the accidents to which little children fall victims multiply in the factory districts to a terrible extent. The employment of women at once breaks up the family, necessity that inversion of the existing. The children grow up like weeds, they are put out to nurse for a shilling or eighteenpence a week” Me: What was happening to the children who work in the factory? Worker: The children who work in the factory are on a list of the coroner of Manchester showed for nine months, 69 deaths from burning, 56 from drowning, 23 from falling, 67 from other cases.
Women often return to the mill three or four days after confinement, leaving the body, of course in the dinner-hour must hurry home to feed the child and eat something, and what sort of suckling that can be is also evident. Me: Was the unmarried women better off than the married ones? Worker: No, the unmarried women , who have grown up in mills are no better of than the married ones. It is self-evident that a girl who has worked in a mill from her ninth year is in no position to understand domestic work, whence it follows that female operatives prove wholly inexperienced and unfit as housekeepers.
Me: Are the factory conditions in cleanliness good? Worker: No the factory cleaning conditions are indecent bad, filthy etc. The same process upon a small scale which we have already witnessed upon a large one in the great cities. Me: Was There Any Slave-like system placed on the workers of these factories? Worker: Yes, the system in place from the factory act did not in some measure fetter their hands , how is this humane this benevolent bourgeoisie, which has built factories solely far the good of the working class would take care of the interest of these workers!
Let us hear how they acted before the factory inspector was at their heels. Factory work represented a substantial change over cottage work, in which workers performed at their own pace. In the factory, workers had to keep up with the machine; thus their pace of work was predetermined. The work was monotonous and boring, and often involved long hours. Workers were required to adjust their lives according to their work hours. Factories employed a variety of methods to summon workers or end the day, from whistles to large bells in towers.
Parents and children worked the same 12 hour shifts in the factory or mine six days per week, normally with the parents supervising the children. It was often necessary for children to work to hold the family together, and parents often insisted that their children be allowed to work as a condition of their accepting employment. In some instances, children as young as seven were employed. There were two other people who felt strongly about working conditions, Sir Edwin Chadwick and Friedrich Engels.
The authors of Inquiry into the condition of the poor and The condition of the working class in England. In Engels’ observations he “believed that no possible reform could be undertaken that would successfully improve the lives of poor workers. The only solution was the overthrow of the capitalist system. ” (Engels 166). Chadwick also felt that the working conditions were unhealthy. He pressed for parliamentary reform. His writing “Inquiry into the Condition of the Poor” lead to the Public Health Act (1848).